Posts Tagged ‘Erol Alkan’

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Heavy Rotation Vol. 37

March 28, 2010

In lieu of a clever introductory paragraph, I instead offer this link for your entertainment. (It’ll open in a new window.)

Escape Motions – Flame

Just a little something to play with while listening to the tunes. Prepare to say goodbye to the next couple of hours.

Hours of fun here as well:
The Heavy Rotation Archives

The Cure – All I Had to Do was Kill Her (Live – Germany, 1982).mp3
A staple of the Cure’s live shows during the early ’80s, All I Had to Do… is an epic piece of near-gothic darkness. As the song expands and picks up the pace, Robert Smith bleeds all over the track, draping his distinctive voice over jagged shards of guitar and a very powerful rhythm section.

Fuck Buttons – Rough Steez.mp3
The glorious unharnessed electro-psychedelia that is the Fuck Buttons returns, with a track from their latest album. If their initial single Surf Solar was the finesse and current single Olympians is the stamina, then Rough Steez is the brawn, all swaggering id, an unstoppable force in search of an immovable object.

Late of the Pier – Space and the Woods.mp3
Produced to sparkly perfection by Erol Alkan (one-half of previous Heavy Rotation favorites Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve), Late of the Pier are all tomorrow’s parties as visualized by synthpop pioneers. With all that hindsight behind them, the future is now. Like what Gary Numan sorely wishes he was doing now.

Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine – Shopper’s Paradise.mp3
Nothing new about these bitterly smart pop deviants. Carter USM (as they were frequently abbreviated, especially in front of their mums) released this track 19 years ago on their 30 Something album. Taking on everyone’s favourite symbol of capitalism, the shopping mall, Carter USM sets guitars to rave, drum machines to stun and right eyebrows to permanently arched.

A satirical celebration of all-in-one shopping, where you can pick up “knuckle dusters, glass jaws and wooden hearts” while your better half picks up “sprays and lipsticks/tested on bunnies, girls, strays and misfits.” A thoroughly enjoyable poke in the eye.

Frank Black – The Hostess with the Mostest.mp3
Frank Black (late of the Pixies and, oddly enough, currently of the Pixies) takes a different take with his ode to the excesses of your average shopping mall. As befitting an album titled Teenager of the Year, Black peers through nostalgia-tinted glasses to the days when he “hit the mall on every Friday/When it was biggest in the world,” but still manages a warning shot across the bow a few lines into the song:

I hear surf on kazoo
And I march with the militia of the mime
…”

-CLT

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to its high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]
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Heavy Rotation Vol. 25: CLT Goes to Outer Space Edition

November 29, 2009

Space Rock.

This is one of my love/hate genres (along with electro) because the tendencies of its performers is to accentuate the aggravating traits. In the case of space rock, this means bypassing the lyrical content and swooshing guitars in favor of some 18-minute rundown of the last D&D session over a flute and dulcimer digression.

When it works, it nears the worlds-away sound and escape-velocity transcendence the creators were aiming for. Hawkwind spends a lot of its time divided between the two, mainly depending on which revolving cast member was helming the songwriting.

Chrome/Helios Creed can be fun, as they eschew the 8 and 9-minute epics for 3-5 minute speed runs through waves of distortion. Of course, they also spend too much time dicking around with malfunctioning reel-to-reels making scary noises and stoner in-jokes.

And so it goes with the remaining genre practitioners. You take the good, you take the bad, etc. Monster Magnet, Pressurehed, Nik Turner’s solo work, Dinowalrus, etc. There are some bands out there that grab a small portion of the “space rock” dynamic and run with it. You’ll find hints of it in Holy Fuck, Muse, A Place to Bury Strangers, Lightning Bolt, the Fuck Buttons and Spiritualized.

But enough about me… Here’s the fucking music.

Previous volumes (with shorter intros here):
Heavy Rotation Archives

That Fucking Tank – Stephen Hawkwind
“Tell me only the good things you remember about… Space Rock.”

This is what Leeds duo That Fucking Tank does. Trimming all the excessive prog and psychedelia fat off the bone and reaching cruising altitude in mere moments. Just a guitar and a drum set surging skyward, bringing to mind everything anyone loved about Hawkwind, Chrome, Monster Magnet or even Kyuss, without the attendant wankery and occasional flute solo.

Hawkwind – Spirit of the Age
Speaking of Hawkwind… The godfathers of the space rock genre. Formed in the late ’60’s by flautist (you read that right) Nik Turner and featuring the lyrical and instrumental input of Lemmy Kilmeister (Motorhead), Hawkwind was the embodiment of all things space rock.

Conjuring up visions of time travel, alien abduction, wormholes and intergalactic travel, Nik Turner and co. engaged the imagination of a million forward-thinking hippies, who wouldn’t look out of place at a Dead show except for their excessive use of tin foil and amphetamines.

In this particular track, Hawkwind addresses the effects of cloning and cryogenic sleep on the average long-distance relationship.

I would’ve liked you to have been deep frozen too
And waiting still as fresh in your flesh for my return to earth
But your father refused to sign the forms to freeze you
Let’s see you’d be about 60 now, and long dead by the time I return to earth
My time-held dreams were full of you as you were when I left, still underage
Your android replica is playing up again it’s no joke
When she comes she moans another’s name
But that’s the spirit of the age, that’s the spirit of tha age

I am a clone, I am not alone
Every fibre of my flesh and bone is identical to the others
Everything I say is in the same tone as my test tube brother’s voice
And there’s no choice between us
If you had ever seen us you’d rejoice in your uniqueness
And consider every weakness something special of your own
Being a clone I have no flaws to identify
Even this doggerel that pours from my pen
Has just been written by another twenty telepathic men
Word for word it says:
“Oh, for the wings of any bird other than a battery hen”.

Alien Sex Fiend – Silver Machine
One of my all-time favorites with a stripped-down but incredibly effective cover of a Hawkwind classic. ASF spent a lot of time moping around with the goths in London’s Batcave scene, but they were always too, I don’t know, “madcap” to wander the darkened streets pondering the futility of existence.

They loved the Cramps and took a bit of their twisted humor, added a few pounds of pancake makeup and some deadly flashpots and called it their own. Call them “goth” if you must, but keep in mind they have praised various parts of women’s anatomy and the occasional fast car in song, which just doesn’t mesh.

Here they grab ahold of a space rock classic and send it soaring, all driving bass, searing guitars and some loverly echoey vocals, courtesy of Nik Fiend and his partner in crime/life, Mrs. Fiend (who adds some electronic wizardry of her own).

Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve – Get Ready to Fly
Previous Heavy Rotation favorites BTWS return with a low-key take on Pressurehed’s Silver Bird.

Pressurehed were a short-lived L.A. industrial space-rock band that put out three killer albums before splintering into a million shards of noise, resurfacing as Anubian Lights Destiny (featuring Nik Turner and Robert Calvert of Hawkwind, among others). They were always more Chrome than Hawkwind, with their layers of blistering, howling guitars and tape loop experiments. But this isn’t about them, although they may get their moment in the reflected glory of Heavy Rotation later.

This is about Erol Alkan and his studio wizardry, which turns the superheated guitars of the original into a shimmering psychedelic journey, without all the usual pointless “jamming.”

Spacemen 3 – Big City (Erol Alkan Mix)
Speaking of Erol Alkan… Mr. Alkan puts his hands all over drone-rock antagonists’ Spacemen 3’s ode to Suicide. While the original version dwelled on repetition and post-punk antagonism, the remix gently coaxes something approaching transcendence from the drones and reverb, proving that not every meditation on a single chord needs to be disorienting and strobelit.

All files in one fully-contained zip file:
Heavy Rotation Vol. 25
(link opens in new window)

-CLT

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to its high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]
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Heavy Rotation Vol. 24 – Awful Travelling Metaphor Edition

November 22, 2009

Prepare to take a journey through sound. We have many (well, five) destinations picked out for you today. This musical tour will take you to places unexpected. There is no unifying theme and your proxy-DJ grabbed these at random, or so it would appear.

So grab your bags and your Adderall and climb aboard. Your bags go in the overhead compartments or wedged under the jackass in front of you. Go ahead and toss that Adderall all over the tarmac. Where we’re going you won’t need an attention span.

Previous versions available here:
Heavy Rotation Archives

Mighty Dub Katz – Keep On Truckin’ (Streetlife DJs Remix)
Yet another face of the prolific Fatboy Slim. This single was originally released in 1995, but was plucked from the back catalog and given a huge rerub by the Streetlife DJs. Retaining the silky smooth DJ chatter (“Your funky DJ… in touch with your needs…“) and all of the original funk, Streelife adds some chopped up samples, punched up bass and some noisy retro videogame sounds. Included in both the original and remixed forms below.

This…is…soul. Keep on truckin’.

Remix:

Original version:

Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve – Bubble Burst
Interesting stuff, this. Erol Alkan, a well-known DJ and remixer, joins forces with Richard Norris (former label owner and NME writer) to make some vintage-sounding psychedelia. Unexpected to say the least, but also very, very good.

This track runs some 60’s garage-rock guitars over a rolling Balearic beat, which is topped off with vocals that wouldn’t sound out of place two sections over in the “R&B” section, right next to Ray Charles and James Brown. All the stuff that shouldn’t work together sounds so good you’re left wondering why nobody threw all this shit in the blender before.

Imperial Teen – Pig Latin
The best pop band to never sell a million albums. Imperial Teen was founded by Roddy Bottum, who formerly keyboarded with Faith No More. No one makes a better 3 minute song. Catchy as fuck, layered with attitude and never afraid to let their psychosexual tensions take the reins, Imperial Teen are what we in the musical matchmaking business call a “keeper.”

This is one of their more downtempo tracks, dealing with the whole “relationship” thing.

I don’t mind looking at you
Your hair sticks straight up well
This spray can is my favorite
Vonnegut to William Hell
I don’t want to be happy
I want to mess around
But these drugs have made me sappy
I do love feeling down

Kraftwerk – Heavy Metal Kids
Does what it says on the tin, to the confusion of nearly everybody. Recorded live in 1971 for Radio Bremen, this audio anomaly features the icy keyboard automatons taking a noisy stab at making metal for the masses.

Using only their Teutonic attitudes and a shitload of electronics, the Werkers kraft (see what I did there?) a metal dirge worthy of Black Sabbath’s formative years. It takes about 1:30 before the groove kicks in, so stick around. The whole experience contains high levels of WTFness, so consider yourself warned. Oh, and also look out for the tempo shift around 4:30, which takes it all to another level. Headbanging for the pocket calculator set.

Yo La Tengo – Here to Fall
Yo La Tengo’s back and they brought their heartbreaking sagas, incredible songcrafting skills and some strings with them. First of all, this is no weeper. It’s actually a pretty straightforward rocker, utilizing a large amount of fuzzed-up, wah’ed-up guitar. It’s the string stabs that really bring the noise, accenting the guitar and playing off the piano’s contribution. It all sounds so amazing and yet so familiar, thanks to the strings which are just begging to be attributed to some novelty single from the late ’70s.

Don’t ask me why this all works so well. It’s just Yo La Fucking Tengo. It’s what they do.

All files zipped into one cacophonous folder:
Heavy Rotation Vol. 24
(link opens in new window)

-CLT

[All music posted on Fancy Plans… is kick ass and too awesome to be contained. All music is also posted temporarily and, due to its high level of ass-kicking, should not be distributed without a prescription and care should be taken while operating heavy equipment or dancing around the living room (clothing optional, but do remember that the blinds are open/kids are still awake).
Should you wish to have your brilliant artistic statement forced back into confinement, please email me at 2timegrime@gmail.com. Feel free to leave a comment, as that will probably be noticed sooner.
By all means, if you like what you hear (and you will), please support the totally rocking artist(s) by purchasing some music or heading out to see them live.]